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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the history of and responses to global epidemics of serious diseases. Case studies of cholera, influenza, and HIV/AIDS illustrate typical reactions to pandemic events. The initial stages of a pandemic are often characterized by collective anxiety and a desire for isolation. As the pandemic progresses, there are calls for collective global responses to protect human security and contain outbreaks while maintaining international trade and travel. As pandemics enter a recovery phase, there is often a shift toward the use of advocacy to promote international cooperation, secure continued funding for global health activities, and advance other strategic goals. The rhetoric of pandemics is now being used to describe obesity and other emerging noncommunicable diseases because the language of pandemics connotes risk and demands global action. Pandemics are the result of global interactions and globalization processes, and studies of pandemics are, by definition, global studies.

Keywords: pandemic, global health, globalization, epidemics, cholera, influenza, HIV, obesity

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